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The Haunted Air Hardcover – October 18, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Repairman Jack (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (October 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312878680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312878689
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sixth novel in Wilson's gutsy Repairman Jack series (after Hosts) teams the righteous urban mercenary with his strangest bedfellows yet: a pair of sham spirit mediums who openly operate their occult con game out of a brownstone in Queens. His hardboiled skepticism notwithstanding, Jack takes the case of brothers Lyle and Charlie Kenton, who've been threatened by other Big Apple pseudo-psychics for horning in on the lucrative seance scene. No sooner has Jack begun using the tricks of the spiritualist trade on the Kentons' persecutors than real ghosts begin popping up along with a secret cult of ritual child murderers. As though this weren't enough, Jack is also confronted with imminent and unexpected fatherhood, which may force him to forsake the anonymity crucial to his underground enterprises. Readers know they can count on Wilson to weave the most unruly narrative strands into a tight Gordian plot and he doesn't disappoint here. Though heavy with talk and weak attempts at hip-hop jargon, the tale still speeds briskly to its spooky climax, subtly referencing other books in Wilson's canon (notably The Keep) and developing Jack's role as a warrior against the malignant cosmic force he calls "the Otherness." Above all, the novel enhances the enigma of Jack, a hero who commands respect despite his curmudgeonly disdain for contemporary culture, his morally ambiguous work-for-hire ethic and his unsettling appeal to the vigilante in every reader.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"F. Paul Wilson is a hot writer, and his hottest, and my favorite, creation is Repairman Jack."-Joe R. Lansdale

"Jack is righteous!" -Andrew Vachss

More About the Author

I was born toward the end of the Jurassic Period and raised in New Jersey where I misspent my youth playing with matches, poring over Uncle Scrooge and E.C. comics, reading Lovecraft, Matheson, Bradbury, and Heinlein, listening to Chuck Berry and Alan Freed, and watching Soupy Sales and horror movies. I sold my first story in the Cretaceous Period and have been writing ever since. (Even that dinosaur-killer asteroid couldn't stop me.)

I've written in just about every genre - science fiction, fantasy, horror, a children's Christmas book (with a monster, of course), medical thrillers, political thrillers, even a religious thriller (long before that DaVinci thing). So far I've got about 33 books and 100 or so short stories under my name in 24 languages.

THE KEEP, THE TOMB, HARBINGERS, and BY THE SWORD all appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers List. WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS won the first Prometheus Award in 1979; THE TOMB received the Porgie Award from The West Coast Review of Books. My novelette "Aftershock" received the 1999 Bram Stoker Award for short fiction. DYDEETOWN WORLD was on the young adult recommended reading lists of the American Library Association and the New York Public Library, among others (God knows why). I received the prestigious Inkpot Award from San Diego ComiCon and the Pioneer Award from the RT Booklovers Convention. I'm listed in the 50th anniversary edition of Who's Who in America. (That plus $3 will buy you a girly coffee at Starbuck's.)

My novel THE KEEP was made into a visually striking but otherwise incomprehensible movie (screenplay and direction by Michael Mann) from Paramount in 1983. My original teleplay "Glim-Glim" first aired on Monsters. An adaptation of my short story "Menage a Trois" was part of the pilot for The Hunger series that debuted on Showtime in July 1997.

And then there's the epic saga of the Repairman Jack film. After 14 years in development hell with half a dozen writers and at least a dozen scripts, THE TOMB is finally moving toward production as "Repairman Jack" from Beacon Films and Touchstone. The plan is to make Jack a franchise character. (Gotta tell you: all the years of this has worn me out.)

I've done a few collaborations too. One with Steve Spruill on NIGHTKILL, and a bunch with Matthew J. Costello. Matt and I did world design, characters, and story arcs for Sci-Fi Channel's FTL NewsFeed, a daily newscast set 150 years in the future. An FTL NewsFeed was the first program broadcast by the new channel when it launched in September 1992. We took over scripting the Newsfeeds (the equivalent of a 4-1/2 hour movie per year) in 1994 and continued until its cancellation in December 1996.

We did script and design for MATHQUEST WITH ALADDIN (Disney Interactive - 1997) with voices by Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters, and the same for The Interactive DARK HALF for Orion Pictures, based on the Stephen King novel, but this project was orphaned when MGM bought Orion. (It's officially vaporware now.) We even wrote a stageplay, "Syzygy," which opened in St. Augustine, Florida, in March, 2000.

I'm tired of talking about myself, so I'll close by saying that I live and work at the Jersey Shore where I'm usually pounding away on a new Repairman Jack novel and haunting eBay for strange clocks and Daddy Warbucks memorabilia. (No, we don't have a cat.)

Customer Reviews

F. Paul Wilson has done a great job with his Repairman Jack series.
Wilson is a good author with great character development, and the overarching plot line for the series is tremendous.
Stephanie Hall
I haven't read all of the Repairman Jack series, but have enjoyed the ones I have read.
Greg Osman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
F. Paul Wilson continues his popular (and constantly improving) Repairman Jack series while putting his own stamp on the familiar haunted house tale. Repairman Jack is absolutely the most intriguing series character running today -- a mercenary with no official identity but a solid moral foundation, he "fixes" situations that are outside the realm of normal legal channels and that generally involve some supernatural elements. And I wait eagerly for the release of each succeeding entry.
The Haunted Air is by far the best novel in the series that I have read since the inaugural The Tomb. I thought Hosts was great until I read this one. Wilson has really caught his stride and is able to further develop the characters of Jack, his girlfriend Gia (and her daughter Vicky), and his friend and supplier Abe -- as well as their relationships to each other -- while continuing to invent plausible fantastic scenarios that put them deeper and deeper in peril. The Repairman Jack series can always be counted on for thought-provoking storylines as well as heart-pounding, pulse-racing, eye-widening climaxes.
Two brothers, Lyle and Charlie Kenton, run a sham psychic business out of their historic home, Menelaus Manor, under the names Ifasen and Kehinde, respectively. They have, over the years, quickly boosted their clientele by stealing them from competing psychics, and somebody has decided to get revenge. Drive-by shootings and mysterious door openings and closings are only the beginning. Once Jack gets involved, however, the intensity is turned way up as he decides to confront the suspects -- a competing psychic -- on her own turf; he gets to scam the scam artist.
Further investigation brings up secrets about the house, its previous owner, and a spirit out for revenge.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Craig Larson VINE VOICE on October 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the latest Repairman Jack novel, a series which combines noir/mystery/crime novel with elements of horror and science fiction. Jack is one of the combatants in the battle between the Otherness and the Ally, a battle that's been raging throughout Wilson's novels and serves to tie most of them together into one continuum. In this book, Jack is faced with impending fatherhood and what that will mean to his shadowy, off-the-books existence. He also has to deal with the apparent ghost of a young girl who is haunting the house of a con-man/ psychic and his born-again brother, as well as a mysterious man who hires him to shadow his "brother" and prevent him from committing any crimes during the next full moon. All of this material comes together in a very satisfying way, leaving one wanting more. Wilson is one of those writers who just doesn't write fast enough.
Jack is a great creation, sort of the Equalizer crossed with the X-Files, and if you haven't experienced this series yet, you owe it to yourself to seek it out (other titles are _The Tomb_, _Legacies_, _Conspiracies_, _All the Rage_, and _Hosts_).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. Filho on November 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is vintage Paul Wilson. All his books are a great read, especially the Repairman Jack series. So I am giving it four stars.

But I think prospective buyers should be informed that the hardcover edition is a painful read. The print size is very, very small. It is even smaller than the print of a regular pocketbook. This is unacceptable. I don't see any point in paying an extra 12 dollars for a hardcover edition and getting less print quality than a mass market paperback.

So this is my advice. If your eyes are good enough to read 410 pages of tiny print, go for it. If not, stay away from Forge books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen C. Griffin on July 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wilson's series is always engaging, with his New Jersey born Jack the rebel repairer. This one is outstanding, and moves from both his standard Manhattan and suburban settings to the borough of Queens. Lyle and Charlie Kenton are very attactive additions to the series; I hope to see more of them!
There are weaknesses. Wilson isn't entirely comfortable with the Kenton brothers, and his ghastly version of Detroit black street language is a distracting nuisance. Lyle, the very upwardly mobile, articulate, and sharply intelligent con artist, is more realistic. Gia from Iowa remains as boring as her unbearably cutesy daughter, but the reader can skip past her.
Otherwise it's a lively, exciting, well-developed novel, with flashes of acid humor. The settings are very well-handled, and the pacing is breathless. Grab a copy for the beach or subway!
Now when will Dr. Wilson set a story in the Bronx? We have Edgar Allan Poe's cottage and Woodlawn Cemetery, so well written of in Peter Beagle's _A Fine and Private Place_, to tempt him!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I enjoyed The Haunted Air (as I have most of Wilson's books), it is far from the best in the series and nowhere near as good as The Tomb. Perhaps after reading so many superlative reader reviews here, I was expecting much more than what I got. The Haunted Air is a fast-paced, entertaining book that is a good choice as a beach read or long plane trip, and Repairman Jack is - well - just Jack. Enough said about that. However, most of the other characters are thinly developed and the plot lacks the level of excitement, surprises and suspense that I've come to expect from this series, and particularly from these reviews. All in all, if you don't go into reading this book with very high expectations, as I did, and can be satisified with an entertaining story, I think you'll enjoy it.
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